Tuesday, November 29, 2011

5 Ways to Find Balance

Happy Tuesday!

This is that time for year where many of us find ourselves short on time. Between shopping and preparing for the holidays, work and other obligations, we are frantically trying to manage our time and find balance (Read: sanity).

I am absolutely no exception to the rule.  I have picked up some seasonal work (and love it), but I am finding myself busier than ever while still finding time to blog and stay connected to the online world.

For example, you may have noticed the lack of postage yesterday. 

At first, I was stressed about it, after all I did commit to 5 posts a week.  When I gave it some thought, I realized that if I need to make some adjustments to my blogging schedule that it totally okay.  I pride myself in quality over quantity and I am don't want to throw up a post just to have something up that day.

So to find my own balance over the holiday season, I may be blogging less frequently (I am aiming for 3-5 times a week), but everything I do post will something that I am truly passionate about.

Looking for a little balance yourself?  Here are a few tips to help you out!


Time Management
Something that many of us dread.  Figure out who much time you have this week to you have to accomplish your goals (i.e. workouts, chores, baking) and how long it will take you to do each one. 
After you manage your time, make a list of all of these to-dos for the week and figure out which ones are the most important and which ones can be placed on the back burner. Take note of the top 5 and slot them in your planner.

Be Flexible
Things don't always go according to plan, so be prepare to roll with the punches and do the schedule shuffle.  If you can't check everything off your list, don't stress.

Ask for Help
Don't be shy to enlist the help of family members and friends.  Maybe you need someone to pick the kids up from school or you need to ask your partner to take on laundry duty this week.  That's what friends are for. :)

Plan for "Me" Time
I have said it many times before, but it is worth repeating.  It is so important to take some time every week to focus on you.  Whether it is 5 or 50 minutes, your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

How do you find balance this time of year?
I am still working on this one, but I am getting there.  Giving myself permission to take a break really helps.

Stay Healthy,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Favourites: Beauty Brands


What we put on to our bodies is just as important to our overall health as what we put in to them, so today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite beauty products.

All of these companies have all natural skin care and makeup, use organic ingredients and in some cases, have vegan options.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Recipe Repeat: Apple-Berry Crumble

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

I really wanted to dazzle you with a new recipe today.  However, the screen on my camera is broken and I really think that recipes need pictures to do them justice.

So I will put the new recipe in my back pocket and take this opportunity to share with you another one of my favourite recipes from blog posts' past.

If you are celebrating the holiday today, I think this apple-berry crumble would be a perfect addition to your dinner table.  It's delicious, loaded with fibre and super easy to make.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Minute Workout: Upper Body Sculpt

We had a nasty ice storm in Toronto last night so I am very happy to see the sun today!

On a sad note:  The screen on my camera is broke. :(  I turned it on yesterday and the screen is white with black spots.  I don't think this is a good thing.

However, it still takes pictures, I just can't see what I am taking pictures off.  I think it may be a sign that I need to get a new one (perhaps an early Christmas present).

On a happy note:  I have a fantastic upper body workout for you today.  This is going to hit every muscle group and can be done anytime, anywhere.  You are going to love it!

Remember to check with your doc before starting any exercise program.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Product Review: Trop 50 Pomegranate Blueberry

The good people over at Tropicana were kind enough to send me a product to review and I jumped at the opportunity to share my thoughts with you lovely readers :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Mine was busy, but I did manage to get my workout in. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons Learned

A very late post today.  My day didn't quite go as planned and you know what, that is totally okay.

I also don't have any Friday Favourites for you today and that is okay too.

These are just a few of the lessons I learned this week.  Here are a couple more.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Minute Workout: Lower Body Blast

I am so happy to see the sun peak out today (even if it will be gone by dinner time. ;)

Speaking of the season, I have noticed that Christmas is in full effect just about everywhere I go.  From malls to coffee shops, the halls have been decked.

I don't really decorate until the first weekend of December (that is also when I start my shopping), but I really love that everyone is already in the holiday spirit.

Today, I have a fantastic lower body workout for you to try.  It can be done at home or at the gym in less than 30 minutes! (That will give you more time to go shopping).  You also don't need any equipment for this workout, so there are no excuses. ;)

As always, check with your doc before you start any exercise program.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recipe Repeat: Peanut Butter Balls

I don't have a fabulous new recipe makeover today.

However, following in the footsteps of my friend Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch, I decided to post a recipe that is worth repeating.

I have gotten more comments and feedback about these balls than any other recipe.  They are a fantastic snack, low in fat and have some protein to boot.  They also happen to be vegan.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  (I think it is time for me to make them again. ;)

I'd like to think that my photography skills have improved :)

Crispy Peanut Butter Balls (Makes 30)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup rice cereal
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper.

Mix peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 45-60 seconds.  At the same time, combine oat flour, wheat bran, cereal, flax, coconut and chocolate chips.

Remove peanut butter mixture and stir.  If it has not liquefied, heat for another 10-20 seconds.

Pour into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until incorporated.  Take about a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze in your hand to form into a ball.

Place balls on the cookie sheet and freeze for 15-20 minutes.  Store in the fridge.

Nutritional Information (Approx.)
59 calories
3.5 g fat
5.6 g carbs
2 g protein
1 g fibre

Do you have any recipe in your roster that you love?

Stay Healthy,

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Pick the Right Fitness Club

Most of you know that I do my workouts at home.  Fitness doesn't have to cost a thing, however, many of your might feel more motivated to stay active by joining a gym.

I have also trained (and worked) at a few fitness clubs in my day and I know that choosing a club can often be overwhelming, especially for the new exerciser.

With that in mind, here are some things to think about when you are scoping out the fitness clubs in your area.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Favourites: Dietary Supplements

I try to get most of my nutrients by eating actual food.

But let's face it, sometimes that is just not possible so I like to think of supplements as insurance.  Like any other insurance, it pays to shop and around.

I am not an expert in the area of supplementation, but I have learned a few things in my years working with other health professionals and through my own experience.  Here are a few questions to ask when looking for supplements:

  • What is the bio-availability of the vitamin?  You want a supplement that can be readily used by the body.
  • How has the product been tested?  Who tested the product?
  • Has it been endorsed/recommended by respected experts?
  • Is it all natural?
  • Are there any side effects to taking the supplement?

Remember that dietary supplements not always regulated, so do you homework.   A great place to start is NutriSearch.  They are an independent research company that tested over 1500 different supplements.  Their comparative guide is less than $20 and in my opinion, a great investment.

Here are my top three vitamin brand picks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The 45 Minute Workout: Circuit Work It!

Today's workout is inspired by a fitness instructor training I attended over the the weekend.  We got to participate in a sampler class, which featured different style of exercise including Zumba, kickboxing, pilates and circuit training.

It was great learning about each class, but I really loved the circuit.  We moved around to different exercise stations, each one a little more challenging than the last.

It has been quite a few years since I have taught a class like this and thought it was be fun to create a circuit to share.

This circuit works best with a small group (4-6 people) and does require a little bit of space to move around.  If you workout at home, I would suggest taking it outside (weather permitting).  If you work out at a gym, grab a few friends and take advantage of their equipment and studio space.

I'm ready for the circuit, can you tell?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Homemade Butterfinger Bites

Sadly enough, we didn't have any Halloween candy at my house.

We live in an apartment and don't get trick-or-treaters, so I decided it was in my best interest (and that of my waist line), not to get any candy.

However, I did make one exception.

I saw this recipe for homemade butterfinger bars from Averie, I knew I had to recreate it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Aromatherapy 101: Muscle Aches and Pains

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  The weather here was wonderful and I tried to enjoy every minute of it . :)

One of my favourite moments was actually inside.  A long, hot bath spiked with lavender oil to soothe my weary body.

I am a big believer in the benefit essential oils, so I thought I would did a little deeper into the world of aromatherapy and some of the oils that can help with muscle aches and pains.

Note:  I am not an aromatherapist.  Check with you health care professional before you try any new treatments.

What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses pure and natural essential oils to provide a range of therapeutic effects on the mind, body and spirit.

What are Essential Oils?
These are the oils, which are extracted from leaves, petals, nuts, seeds and bark.  Essential oils can be dissolved in alcohol or mixed with fats and used in a variety of ways including inhalation, massage, baths and perfumes.

Here are three essential oils that are fantastic for muscle aches and pains:


Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Favourites: Fitness Apps

I love my iPod Touch.

One day I will graduate to an iPhone, but for now, the Touch does the trick.

I love to listen to music during my workouts and loading on some fantastic fitness tunes for my clients and classes.  I have also discovered some pretty cool apps to help you reach your fitness goals.  Here are three of my faves and I hope you find them helpful too.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Healthy Makeover: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally did it!  After a few failed attempts, I had a successful recipe makeover. 

Here are the changes I made:
  • Replaced the butter with olive oil and reduced it by half
  • Replaced the sugar with honey and reduced it by a quarter
  • Used whole wheat flour and oats instead of white flour
  • Increased the amount of cocoa
  • Reduced the amount of chocolate chips by three quarters

I am not usually a huge chocolate cookie/cake fan, but I really liked these.  The result was a cakey cookie that was not to sweet and very chocolatey.   I think they would be perfect to have with a chocolate peppermint latte, but that is just my preference :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Move of the Month: Burpees

 Ah, burpees.  We love to hate them.

They are tough, but we do them because we know that they are a fantastic full body exercise.  A staple move in any circuit or interval class, burpees are a great way to challenge your muscles and get your heart pumping.

They fit perfectly into this 30 minute workout or you could include them in your tabata drills.  Here is a step-by-step description of the exercise, including some modifications for all levels.

The Burpee

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Resolutions Re-Evaluated: Letting Go

Happy November!  'Tis the time to reflect on your goals (dreams, visions,  etc.).

I read a very interesting article yesterday about knowing when it is time to let go of a dream.  It wasn't suggesting that you give up on your dreams, but rather when to trade in one vision for another.

I was intrigued.



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